Just got a reply back from local MP Nick Raynsford about ID cards. Here it is:
You ask about my personal position. I support the introduction if ID cards
and I take this view based in part on the experience I have as the Minister
responsible for the security of London – London Resilience. I am acutely
aware of the risks posed to the capital and the need to ensure the safety of
its citizens. My position is also in part because of the work I have done in
relation to the benefits system and the concerns I have about take up as well
as fraud. ID cards would enable, in my view, benefits to be delivered more
securely and in a more straightforward way. In fact I took a call in my
office today from a pensioner who is having to remember a pin number in order
to collect pensions and benefit from the Post Office. He wants an ID card
because it would avoid him having to struggle with pin numbers.
Hmmph! It is the usual non-committal reference to “risks”, and some stuff about benefit fraud. I would love to see the figures about how much identity based benefit fraud costs the country, as opposed to people simply claiming to be unemployed, disabled while keeping their own identity. And the pensioner who can’t remember his PIN number – great anecdote! Does this mean he will have to be fingerprinted every time he gets his pension – or will anyone who nicks his ID card be able to collect it?
Interesting commentary and documents will be added to my links blog. A very interesting proposal for non-forgable ID cards with no need for biometrics (which you can’t revoke without blinding yourself or cutting off your fingers) that doesn’t require a central database (which is probably the most worrying part about the whole proposal) was written up on The Register recently. Would this make the whole scheme less scary?